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Sept. 13, 2009

ROCKY FACE, Ga. – The South Carolina men’s golf team fired its best round of the three-day Carpet Capital Collegiate on Sunday, but dropped two spots to fifth place as the Gamecocks wrapped up their first tournament of the 2009-10 season. South Carolina, ranked 15th in the preseason coaches’ poll, shot 289 (+1) in the final round at The Farm Golf Club near Dalton, Ga., and finished at 872 (+8) for the week.

“We really had a pretty solid week,” Gamecock head coach Bill McDonald said. “We didn’t finish very well during the first two rounds, the last couple of holes gave us some trouble. George (Bryan IV) and Wesley (Bryan) weren’t really on their games, but they were really close. Paul Woodbury and Patrick Rada played pretty solid. And Clint Tolleson, in his first college event, he did OK. I saw a lot of good things this week.

Rada, a senior from Anderson, S.C., turned in his second straight round of 2-under 70 to tie for 11th place, earning a tie for 11th place at 215 (-1) for the week. He would bogey the first hole in his final round, but would not card another over his final 17 holes while adding birdies at Nos. 8, 11 and 15 to finish at 2-under for the day, 1-under for the tournament. It marks the best finish for Rada since his tie for ninth place at the Mason Rudolph Invitational last season.

Woodbury, who was 4-under for the week coming into today, ran into big trouble on holes 10 and 11, making double-bogey on both to finish with a 4-over 76. Bogeys at Nos. 4 and 13 were offset by birdies at the sixth and 12th, but the doubles right after the turn took their toll. He would finish at even-par 216 for the tournament and tied for 14th place, a vast improvement from his 83rd-place showing a year ago.

“Paul’s one of those players that just keeps getting better,” McDonald said. “He’s getting more and more comfortable with being in the lineup and the expectations that we have as a team. I really look for him to have a good year. He looked really good this week. A couple of holes today got him, but other than that, he had a really solid three days. If we can get him playing well, along with Rada and the Bryan boys, I think we have a chance to have a really solid year.”

The “Bryan boys,” George and Wesley, both had their best rounds of the week with matching scores of even-par 72. Wesley was up-and-down on the day with four birdies, two bogeys and a double-bogey, and George had a similar round with four birdies and four bogeys. The brothers from Chapin, S.C., finished tied for 29th place at 221 (+5).

Tolleson, making his first collegiate appearance, had his best round of the week Sunday with a 75 (+3). He finished tied for 47th.

Tennessee went absolutely off the charts in the final round with a 14-under-par 274 to run away with the tournament title, finishing 12 shots clear of defending champion Chattanooga. Host Georgia Tech fought its way up the leaderboard to third place with a 6-under 284 on Sunday.

Nils Floren of Texas Tech and Darren Renwick of the Vols tied for medalist honors at 210 (-6). There was a three-way tie for third place at 211 (-5) between Stephan Jaeger (Chattanooga), Jonathan Randolph (Ole Miss) and Robin Wingardh (Tennessee).

The Gamecocks have next week off before heading to the site of one of their four tournament victories in 2008-09. Carolina will compete in the Mason Rudolph Invitational at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn., from Sept. 25-27.

T11. Patrick Rada – 75-70-70=215 (-1)
T14. Paul Woodbury – 70-70-76=216 (E)
T29. Wesley Bryan – 72-77-72=221 (+5)
T29. George Bryan IV – 73-76-72=221 (+5)
T47. Clint Tolleson – 77-77-75=229 (+13)

1. Tennessee (-13)
2. Chattanooga (-1)
3. Georgia Tech (+3)
4. Auburn (+6)
T6. Alabama (+11)
T6. Wake Forest (+11)
8. Texas Tech (+12)
9. Clemson (+20)
T10. East Tennessee State (+28)
T10. Georgia (+28)
12. Mississippi (+35)